Safety Standdowns can be a good idea, but only if you take advantage of what they are designed to do. Many times in my previous life (military), aircrew would complain about taking a down day to talk about safety related topics. Instead, we would rather be flying; after all we had a great safety record. But thanks to our hard working safety staff, they were able to focus our attention on critical areas that resulted in us maintaining a pristine flying safety record. We emphasized the positive things we did and examined the areas that needed improvement. These times of slowing down and taking a hard look at the way we did business caused me to be more safety conscious in every area of my flying career. That’s why I am a fan of Safety Standdowns; I really hate hearing about accidents that could have been prevented and this time of reflection may have prevented one or more news stories of the unfortunate kind.
“There are airmen and there are pilots: the first being part bird whose view from aloft is normal and comfortable, a creature whose brain and muscles frequently originate movements which suggest flight; and then there are pilots who regardless of their airborne time remain earth-loving bipeds forever. When these latter unfortunates, because of one urge or another, actually make an ascension, they neither anticipate nor relish the event and they drive their machines with the same graceless labor they inflict upon the family vehicle.”
– Ernest K. Gann (Ernest K. Gann’s Flying Circus)
“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles;
If you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one;
If you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
Flight instructor with a passion
(AOPA online article – 2/18/2009) Visit AOPA site
By Kathryn Opalewski
Within the last five years, the Liberty University School of Aeronautics in Lynchburg, Va., has grown from four students to more than 250 in its accredited, FAA-certificated aviation program—with around 125 students actively participating in flying instruction—to become one of the two largest Christian university aviation programs in the United States.
I have been blessed with “a view from above” since 1979. During that time I have had many experiences in aviation; most have brought me joy, and some have led to sorrow. The pursuit of aviation excellence is exacting and allows little room for error, yet as with any other profession, if well trained, minimizes the risks associated with such a dynamic and fluid environment. My hope is that we can better each other; as iron sharpens iron.